Defiant Joy by Stasi Eldredge is supposed to be all about “taking hold of hope, beauty, and life in a hurting world.” Essentially, the book wants us to remember that even though we live in a fallen world that’s filled with hurts and tears, we can still have joy because of Christ. That’s why the joy needs to be defiant; the world’s fallenness screams for us to hold onto the hurts and stew in bitterness, but in Christ, we can defy all odds and still have joy.

Although I loved the concept of the book, it felt like it didn’t quite deliver on the message it was promising. There were good nuggets of truth including Stasi’s own honest struggles with weight issues and depression as well as the retelling of her daughter-in-law’s painful miscarriage. This was one of my favorite lines in the book:

“Do you need [God] to redeem the word father for you? He can Do you need Him to redeem your story for you? He will. It’s why Jesus came.”

As well as this one:

“The more honest we are able to be about our lives, the more healing and life we will know.”

But overall even though I enjoyed Stasi’s vulnerable stories peppered throughout the book, I didn’t feel like there were a significant amount of practical takeaways, which is what I was looking for. I wanted to know how I can have joy in my trials and what that would look like on a day-to-day basis.

There was also a concerning part of the book that had this to say:

“Do you want to know what goes on in the heart of the Trinity? I will tell you. In the heart of the Trinity, the Father laughs and gives birth to the Son. The Son laughs back and gives birth to the Spirit. The whole Trinity laughs and gives birth to us.”

Now, this sounds beautiful on the surface. I understand that Stasi is attempting to illustrate the love relationship of the Trinity which is a truly deep and enriching topic. But the Father did not give birth to the Son and the Son did not give birth to the Spirit. Saying so is a heresy, BUT, I am not calling Stasi a heretic. I think there should be a spirit of grace extended to the body of Christ with tricky theological matters (like the Trinity) especially when someone is not a theologian. I do hold someone to a higher standard if they are a theologian.

With all this said, there are some great personal stories, but I felt like Defiant Joy didn’t deliver on its main message. I give it 3 1/2 stars.

I received this book for free from Booklook in exchange for an honest review.